The second project completed while passing the winter in South Carolina, is the above quilt, inspired by the shaker tune, “Simple Gifts”, as well as by the fabric seen below.
‘Tis a gift to be simple,
‘Tis a gift to be free,
‘Tis a gift to come down where you ought to be.
And when you find yourself in a place just right,
’twill be in the valley of love and delight.
The quilt top was pieced very randomly, to demonstrate the concepts of freedom and joyfulness, using this fabric with coordinating solids. I chose to call it “Simple Gifts from the Valley of Delight”.
After completing the top, some machine embroidery was added, to delineate fantasy flowers, and to add a different “gift” word to each of the print squares. I wished the appearance of the words to be subtle, so that the viewer would have to seek them out, much as in life, we need to be watching for the presence of these gifts in order to recognize them when they occur. Below is a close-up of one of the squares, that shows the word “joy”.
Finally, the quilt sandwich was built, and I had the pleasure of adding the free-motion quilting, This was a fun quilt, Put together in recognition of the generosity of a brand new friend, who seems to always put the needs of others before her own, and who told me to use whatever colors inspired me, as there is no color which would not be welcome in her home.
My sewing machine has been humming, and I’m eager to post about it. As a pledge just made to 81 other quilting bloggers, I’ll include more of my processes, trials and tribulations, from this day forward.
I started this piece as another way to practice my free-motion quilting without boredom. There are so many possible processes when working with thread and fabric that I am constantly trying to incorporate more. These pieces will be far from perfection, but will make me happy to see posted on the walls of my sewing cave.
I first randomly pieced the iris print and white Kona cotton. This was layered with batting and more white Kona for the backing. As you saw in my previous post, I fastened the layers together with just a few pins and was on my way. Using white in my bobbin and various colors of polyester embroidery thread on top, I free-motioned around the lines of the iris, and when comfortable with the patterns involved, I continued onto the white background with approximations of what the rest of the flower might look like, if these particular plants were mutants. (I don’t think it looks too bad, over-all, if one isn’t too judgmental.)
When satisfied with the “sketching”, I changed the upper thread to white and completed the background using some of the free-motion that I am actually supposed to be practicing. I finished with a traditional binding with the hand stitched back side.
I like the way this method makes the print fabric begin to resemble applique.
Meanwhile, two new presser feet arrived in the mail today, so I will soon be doing some applique and might also be able to complete a better machine stitched binding on quilts which are to get a lot of laundering.